Studying these cells could lead to new treatments for diseases ranging from gastrointestinal disease to diabetes.
Subra Suresh, the Ford Professor of Engineering and head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, has been elected an Associate Fellow of the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) for "broad, innovative and pioneering contributions to the understanding of the mechanical behavior of materials."
Citizens of developing countries who have attained the highest international standards are elected as Fellows of the Academy. Associate Fellows are elected from among scientists of developed countries who either have their origin in developing countries or who have distinguished themselves in the context of science in the developing world and who have made outstanding contributions to their respective fields of science.
TWAS, headquartered in Trieste, Italy, presently has a total worldwide membership of 771 living scientists of whom approximately 130 are from the developed world. Suresh, who also holds appointments in MIT's Biological Engineering Division and Department of Mechanical Engineering, is one of three American scientists in the newly elected class of 68 members for 2004.
Americans elected in recent years as Associate Fellows of TWAS include chemistry Nobel laureate and former MIT Professor Mario Molina and U.S. National Academy of Sciences President Bruce Alberts.
Suresh has also been selected for Honorary Membership in the Indian Institute of Metals. Honorary Membership is the highest recognition given to a materials scientist by the Indian Institute of Metals. Suresh, who was chosen for the Honorary Membership of the Materials Research Society of India in 1997 and for Fellowship in the Indian National Academy of Engineering in 2003, presently serves as chair of the Materials Section of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, to which he was elected in 2002.